Authentic Substitute Coffees During The Civil War

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Polloco

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From what I've read real coffee was available from time to time. But it was expensive and hard to come by.
 
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Cane Seed Coffee

A coffee substitute in the South during the blockade. It was brewed from the seeds of sugar cane that were parched and ground.
This one from "The Language of the Civil War" by John D. Wright

Another version Georgia Cane Seed Coffee

If sugarcane can be obtained, dry it, toast and parch, and grind as coffee beans. It requires longer brewing than regular coffee to make a proper drink.
From "A Taste of War" by William C. Davis.
I've never heard of cane seed coffee. Does it make a super sweet brew?
 
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JPK Huson 1863

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Oops I just posted on the wrong thread. It maybe should have been this one. So I'll ask again. How do you shell acorns?

The problem with reading too many accounts by settlers and soldiers is not remembering any well. I think I read acorns were boiled- made the shell soft? Then peeled, roasted and ground? Those poor people. It must have taken an awful lot of wishful thinking to call it coffee.
 

FedericoFCavada

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In many of articles on coffee , it is referred to as Rio. .Rio was the nickname for genuine coffee, which was a rare item in Confederate camps. When President Davis visited General Joseph E. Johnston in Chattanooga, Tn., in December, 1862, the general's wife eagerly let friends know she had served her honored guest the "real Reo". The name came from Rio de Janeiro because of the fame of Brazilian coffee.
Yes, the state of Río de Janeiro was the leading source of coffee consumed in the United States. In fact, since "and Company" translated to "Sociedade Autônoma" or "S.A." a lot of the coffee bought and sold in the U.S. was A. Río S.A. or "Ariosa." Incidentally, at that time coffee in Brazil was almost wholly a slave-produced export cash crop... Eventually various tenant farming and share cropping arrangements prevailed. Believe-it-or-not, Brazil came to dominate market share only after a coffee leaf rush devastated coffee trees in Ceylon/Sri Lanka. For a time, coffee trees were planted like mad in Ceylon ahead of the disease--or so it was thought--until finally diminishing returns caught up to the ruined coffee plantations... The planter promptly uprooted the dead and dying coffee trees and replaced them with tea...
 

FedericoFCavada

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The problem with reading too many accounts by settlers and soldiers is not remembering any well. I think I read acorns were boiled- made the shell soft? Then peeled, roasted and ground? Those poor people. It must have taken an awful lot of wishful thinking to call it coffee.
Typically anything made from acorns has to be leached and processed to get some of the inedibly bitterness out of them. Althought the tannins can never be completely gotten out. Some Native Americans, particularly in Alta California had to subsist on them by necessity.
In Texas, an ersatz-substitute "coffee" can be made from Mesquite beans/seeds... :help: :coffee:
 
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donna

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I just saw I got several dislikes on types of coffee. I didn't mean to offend anyone. I was just posting different things people made coffee from because they couldn't get real coffee. I thought it was interesting.

Sorry to any it offends.
 

Polloco

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I often wondered if Northerners, while enjoying a cup of coffee, realized they were enjoying a Slave Produced Product? I'm guessing it was a "So-What" Attitude much like Southern Cotton and Northern Textile Mills.
 

Eleanor Rose

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I just saw I got several dislikes on types of coffee. I didn't mean to offend anyone. I was just posting different things people made coffee from because they couldn't get real coffee. I thought it was interesting.

Sorry to any it offends.
I think the "dislike" is probably expressing a dislike for that particular coffee, not for the post itself. In other words the person disliking the post thinks that kind of coffee sounds yucky. The new options for "liking" a post are great, but I think we're all just getting adjusted to them. Please don't worry about this Donna. I'm certain this isn't directed at you. None of your posts would offend anyone.

Now back to coffee. I discovered chicory in my coffee on a visit to New Orleans. I fell in love with the taste and still enjoy Café du Monde at home. Luckily the local grocer carries the brand. I'm also very fond of French press coffee. It packs a powerful punch.
 
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donna

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I haven't found if cane seed coffee is sweet but has become popular. There is also a Decaf cane seed coffee which has good reviews. Still searching for more on this type coffee.
 

FedericoFCavada

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Yes. I put frowny faces :nah disagree:to indicate that I frowned on one or another of the posted coffee substitutes or ersatz coffees. I suppose some were so terrible sounding I might have put the Roman gladitorial "thumbs down" on the recipe, to indicate extreme displeasure since the
:redcarded: red card was not available... Apologies for sewing confusion. I like coffee!
:smile coffee:

As I recall reading about the beverage from a Civil War person: "Coffee, bereft of lacteal adulteration" was almost as welcome as a hot meal... To lacteal adulteration one might well add one of these Southron recipes forced upon them by the U.S. Navy blockade and the curtailment of trade.
 

FedericoFCavada

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I often wondered if Northerners, while enjoying a cup of coffee, realized they were enjoying a Slave Produced Product? I'm guessing it was a "So-What" Attitude much like Southern Cotton and Northern Textile Mills.
During the turn of the 19th century there were British abolitionists who were so incensed about the prevalence of slave labor in so many things that they'd refuse to use sugar--since cane sugar at the time was one of the core plantation cash crops produced using slave labor for cultivation and processing-- to sweeten their tea. They were sometimes derided as "Anti-saccharides." I'm not sure if U.S. abolitionists were making any similar consumer boycott-type political postures or statements?
 
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